Is it Christmas yet? Maxi Alder

f1

The time between Halloween and Christmas is my favorite season. So of course I had to make a fun dress to wear!

Actually I searched everywhere for the fabric equivalent of the ugly Christmas sweater. Maybe I looked too soon, but I found this cute stripe pattern, complete with silver snowflakes, at Walmart.

b1

I just cut the Grainline Alder dress to a maxi length. And added a 1.25″ waistband, with elastic, for my first go at a Christmas dress.

f2

f3

It took about 3 yards, but I bought 4, just enough to make a little something else…

Loving the holidays…Coco

Butterick 6251 jacket in marigold

play

A little play time – I know I get enthusiastic about things I love, but I adore this jacket!

It happened that I had two pieces of marigold cotton sweatshirt fleece from two different vendors. They are identical, which means I probably have a pair of PJ bottoms in my future, using the remnants.

I’ve made this pattern before in red fleece (here), and it’s a favorite.

B6251 line art

p

 

 

My original inspiration was a pic taken by Shams on her trip with the Tilton sisters to Paris. Stunning. I haven’t made it in a long version, but really really like to do it 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

Back to my jacket! Great sleek vibe, I love wearing it with the collar turned up.

c2

s1

b1

Sewing notes:

  • Sewed View A, which has an attached collar, and I used the changes I made on my first version.
  • Added 2″ to the length.
  • Dropped the front curved edge about 1 3/4″ and trued it back into the curve of the hem.
  • Added 1 1/2″ to the sleeve length.
  • Made curved bottom pockets. This pic shows the prepped pocket – seam allowances clipped at the curve, basted, and ready to be sewn on the jacket.

basted pocket

  • Topstitching detail on the front. Sweatshirt fleece just invites a bit of art.

ef1

  • A tip – clip out the seam allowance at the side hem before turning it. I like to reduce seam bulk at every opportunity!
  • And one more tip. I laundered the fabric twice, and I still had some fleece pills on the inside of the fabric. Nothing a quick de-fuzz couldn’t fix once I was finished sewing:-)

de fuzz

Truth time – this is by far my favorite of my two marigold jackets. I’m thinking navy fleece, perhaps that long version…

Bye for now – Coco

Got to have a second sewing machine…

1926-july-p-64-butterick-sewing-machine

After my Juki HZL-F600 gave out on me, I got a little anxious – I need 2 sewing machine ! Sewing, reading, needlework, knitting, artwork, they are what I do. And I do indulge myself so that I have what I need, when I need it, with the quality I enjoy 🙂

I’ve been sewing with my former backup, a Singer 9960 Quantum Stylist, for several days. And have really appreciated it. Quiet, even stitches, perfect straight stitch. Looking back, I know my Juki perchase was hopeful splurge. Not really a ‘better’ machine for me, as I don’t need all the whiz bang features. Since it broke last week, I’ve definitely fallen out of whatever love I had for it.

Here it comes, my new purchase: another Quantum Stylist.

61FpNMJKt4L._SL1500_

I did so much research. And I’ll admit to a fondness for Singer – I sewed on a Singer slant needle machine, the one with the discs, for 15 years, I even had a new zig-zag disc crafted in metal when I was living in Costa Rica. I wish I had kept it. About 9 years ago, I purchased a very low end Singer and did not keep it. It worked, but was noisy and unpredictable. But the Stylist is a keeper. It is fully featured, has an auto-presser foot pressure, does lovely buttonholes, and ta-dum, has a metal chassis. The latter is a big deal – it’s heavy, stable, and, with it’s distributed footprint, very quiet. And at $290 on Amazon, new, it’s a great budget fit.

I’m going to use the new machine as my primary, I might as well take advantage of any upgrades/changes since I purchased my first one in 2012. And I’m jazzed!

Bye for now – Coco

p.s. I’m going to take my Juki apart, learn stuff, practice 🙂

Sewing machine in the infirmary…

sick

Oh, thank goodness it didn’t get to this point 🙂

After almost 5 years, my Juki Hzl-F600, aka fancy, high-strung, and expensive sewing machine, has taken a dive!

Screen Shot 2018-11-04 at 5.12.51 PM

Suddenly today, the upper thread was not being picked up by the bobbin thread. In fact, it was forming a knot behind the bobbin case after about 3 stitches. Here’s the mess on the back/bobbin side of some stitching:

IMG_0038

Of course, I cleaned everything, took off the casings, etc., to do it. Cleaned the tension discs. Changed my needles, rethreaded the machine. About 2 hours of hopeful work.

To no avail. I’ve spotted a worn thread guide on the bobbin case and also suspect the timing is off. A new bobbin case – which would only be a starting point – is almost $60.

Solution: I pulled out my trusty Singer Quantum Stylist.

IMG_0034

And I was amazed by how quiet it seemed! I guess I had gotten used to my Juki slowly breaking down.

The Stylist is a great machine, does beautiful buttonholes, and is ‘uncomplicated’. I don’t plan to fix the Juki – I’d rather spend the money on a less picky machine, probably something that has been refurbished.

No woes! Coco

Butterick 6107 Shawl Collar Coat

f1

It’s officially fall in the loft, time for a new jacket and a new pattern!

Butterick 6107 is lovely and interesting to sew. I originally bought it with the standup collar in mind, but I was put off by the way the collar looks when it’s open. No problem – I love shawl collar jackets and coats!

envelope-side

f4

Sewing notes:

  • My choices: size Small, View A, the length of View C, and the pockets from View B.
  • My fabric is Marigold 100% cotton sweatshirt fleece from Fabric Mart. It has only mechanical stretch and is what I would characterize as mid-weight.

fabric

  • The collar is cut-on rather than attached. I know this scares some folks, but the pattern pieces fit perfectly, and the inside corners were easy to sew. Another nice feature: the upper collar is slightly wider than the under collar to allow for the turn of the cloth. A lot of patterns don’t bother to do this.

collar

  • My buttons are 7/8″ faux tortoise shell, with sew-on snaps for the actual closure. I did lots of looking and found beautiful 15mm bronze snaps by Cotowin on Amazon. BTW, Amazon is a great place to look for studs and snaps, the variety is amazing.

e1

closures

e2

  • The patterns calls for lined pockets, but given the weight of my fabric, I drafted mine with an interfaced cut-on facing.
  • Here comes more fun – the back! It’s plain on the pattern, but I split it into 2 pieces just below the armscye. I think the topstitching on the collar, the hem, and this new seam add a lot of interest to the back view.

b1

Oh, this is such a nice jacket, and I love wearing it.

f2

We had a nice Halloween night here in my little community, complete with a pizza party at the clubhouse to get some food into the kids’ tummies ahead of all that candy. Most of my neighbors have left their decorations in place, I think everyone is simply enjoying the season.

Parting shot: I had to do it, Starbucks kicked off it holiday flavors today with free reusable cups 🙂 Did anyone else splurge on a peppermint mocha latte?

cup

Ciao! Coco